The study of centenarians living in regions with higher than average life expectancy such as Okinawa Island constitute a valuable research material to understand healthy aging.

Seqens Cosmetics went to Okinawa to meet local pharmacopoeia experts as well as the principal OCS investigators in order to take a closer look at the nutritional and psychosocial factors contributing to this exceptional longevity.

From inspiration to active ingredient

The research strategy for developing a natural healthy aging ingredient at Seqens was thus guided by this question: can we help achieve visibly healthy skin by promoting compartmental and cell-matrix connections at skin level?

These biological avenues were therefore investigated with the development of a getto leaf extract (Alpinia zerumbet; Alpinia speciosa); plant known to contribute to longevity in Okinawa. This getto extract was tested at transcriptomic, proteomic and clinical scale. These studies were able to demonstrate a benefit regarding the expression of genes associated with SAASPs on an “aged” fibroblast model (Hayflick replicative senescence model).

Study results

Treatment with 2% of getto extract stimulates the expression of the majority of genes involved in extracellular matrix synthesis and organization, and in cell-matrix interactions, such tenascin C, or integrin alpha-11.

Effects on the inhibition of the expression of genes involved in the deterioration of the extracellular matrix, inflammation, or in the response to oxidative stress were also observed.

At ex vivo scale, after treating skin explants with 2% of getto extract, an improvement (versus untreated controls) in DEJ morphology and undulation was observed.

Immunostaining also evidenced a significant increase, for the treated explants (versus untreated controls), in the level of markers such as collagen I and laminin 5, known to be key for skin cells anchorage.

In terms of clinical evaluation, VISIA-CR evidenced an improvement in skin texture after treatment with 2% of getto extract formula versus placebo at 28 days and 56 days.

This treatment also contributes to a “healthy” appearance, by promoting a rosy glow instead of a yellowish complexion, one of the visible signs of skin aging.

Experts in exceptional longevity suggested that aging is not limited to genetic considerations, but also involves aspects such as nutritional and biopsychosocial factors.

Seqens Cosmetics thus studied the properties of getto extract, known to contribute to the particularly high life expectancy in Okinawa. These studies therefore showed that this plant, in addition to its nutritional effect, also had a beneficial cutaneous effect by promoting tissue and cellular connections, while giving the skin a healthy appearance.